“My People Were Crying”: Adoration Chapel Destroyed by Hurricane Ida Flooding in New York

Christopher M. O'Connor, Facebook

Please pray for this parish!

Hurricane Ida flooding hit St. Mary’s Winfield Church in Woodside, New York, destroying their new adoration chapel and everything in the lower church.

The flooding destroyed the chapel’s tabernacle monstrance and recently restored 150-year-old pews. 

Parish Pastor Fr. Christopher O’Connor tried saving the church with 40-gallon trash buckets, but said the cans filled in 30 seconds. He said he said he did not succeed in finding the Eucharist.

“A lot of my people were crying this morning,” Fr. O’Connor told Currents News. “It was really a work of art, and it was a beautiful place of prayer, and now it’s underwater.”

Fr. O’Connor posted several photos on Thurs., Sept. 2 of the flooding.

Here’s the Facebook post below:

Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook

Fr. O’Connor’s post reads, “Major flooding everywhere. Our lower church has over 7 feet of water. I believe everything is destroyed, including our new adoration chapel.

“The rectory basement currently has about 3 feet of water. The school basement has some flooding, hopefully salvageable. I’ve already been in touch with diocesan officials and we have a cleaning crew coming Thursday afternoon.

“48th Ave was a river that became a lake. It is just awful. I can’t check the food pantry due to high water.”

Here’s some photos below:

Side of rectory and church, Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook
Lower Church, Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook
Rectory basement, Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook
Rectory basement, Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook
View from wheelchair ramp, Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook
Rectory parking lot, Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook
Rectory backyard and 48th avenue, Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook

Fr. O’Connor later posted an update on his church’s situation.

Here’s the post below:

Christopher M. O’Connor, Facebook

Fr. O’Connor explained in his post that his youth ministry director and 20 teens “mopped and sanitized our parish center,” while 20-30 adults “helped with the food pantry, yard, and rectory.”

“The rectory is mostly empty of water, but the walls are seeping some water. The CCD office suffered a lot of damage. The plumber believes the new rectory boiler is salvageable,” the pastor continued.

The priest added that “once the water is receded” he “will check on the status of the chapel in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“I was not able to retrieve Our Lord,” he said. “The water came in too quickly and forcefully. I didn’t think the Lord wanted me to risk my life. Once the water is receded, I will check on the status of the chapel and the Blessed Sacrament.”

Here’s an interview and tour of the church damage:


Click here if you cannot see the video above.

Please pray for all affected by Hurricane Ida!

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[See also: “Everything Fell Apart”: Afghanistan Priest Reveals Final Moments Before Escaping Country]

[See also: Statues of Our Lady Found Untouched Amid Debris After Hurricane Ida in Louisiana]

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.